Elevator outage strands residents in Clarence Street apartment for nearly a week

Two elevators at an Ottawa apartment building that houses subsidized units have been out for nearly a week.

It means residents who are in wheelchairs or have difficulty taking the stairs, haven’t been able to leave home.

Phil Major is in a wheelchair and needs assistance getting around. He misses being able to enjoy the August sunshine and the vibrancy of downtown Ottawa.

“I cannot access the garden outside, I cannot access anything, absolutely nothing,” said Major.

The Ottawa resident has been trapped indoors for nearly a week because of an elevator outage at 145 Clarence Street.

“It’s awful, I’m going crazy,” he said.

Major says the nightmare began when his personal support worker was visiting last Friday and got stuck in one of the elevators for an hour. The elevators were then out of service.

His unit is on the top floor and the only way up or down is multiple flights of stairs.

“When he’s been alone in his apartment, it’s been pretty tough for him to stay positive,” said Allison Anderson, a family friend.

Major says if the building were to have a fire, someone would die because of a lack of access to the ground floor.

The building is managed by the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, which provides subsidized housing.

A statement from the corporation says, “Although we are pressing the supplier very hard, the component is unlikely to be here until next week. Getting the elevators back up and running as soon as possible is everyone’s priority.

“CCOC maintains a list of tenants requiring assistance and staff have reached out to them directly and individually. CCOC also has a partnership with VHA Home HealthCare (VHA), a not-for-profit charitable organization that offers 24/7 health care and support services. We are keeping them updated on the issue so they can coordinate additional support as needed during this time.”

Anderson says the only update that they have gotten is that the elevators will be out of service until late next week.

“This building has designated floors for people who need nurses and extra care, these people can’t get down 12 flights of stairs on their own,” she said.

Major is hoping the elevator is back in service as soon as possible as the ordeal is weighing on his mental health.

“I’m stuck here all day, all day,” he said.

Another problem at the building is a ringing alarm in the lobby. Residents say it has been incredibly annoying and there’s been no sign of that being resolved.

A spokesperson from CCOC says they are also working on that maintenance issue.

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